Geography of Fiction Blog Assignment #3 Posted on September 22, 2015 by saorsa2014 …and here it is…maps of cities and plans of buildings…what cultural/economic/environmental insights can you draw from a discussion of these settlements/habitats…one of them isn’t fictional… Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading... Related
22 thoughts on “Geography of Fiction Blog Assignment #3”
The Imperial City on Coruscant is laid out in an inverse concentric model based around the Imperial Palace. The upper elite live and work in the city center around the Palace, which makes sense considering Coruscant is the political center of the galaxy, and the supporting zones of industry and lower class living have formed around the city core. Additionally, as seen in the movies, transportation congestion and general crowding make for further competition from the upper class to live in the heart of the city near their work.
The Imperial City of Cyrodiil is laid out in a sectored fashion along the main roads all converging onto the Palace. This suggest one or two economic functions: That in the day to day activities of the residents, frequent trips to the palace are required. Or, more likely, that outside travelers frequently come to the palace and districts have formed along these roads to service those travelers regularly, though the districts are laid out incorrectly for this function as most travelers will enter through residential zones and not the market district. The double stone walls surrounding the city suggest a warring environment, reminiscent of medieval Europe, requiring plenty of defense, in addition to being located along the water in order to provide additional protection and commerce opportunities.
The house on the top right suggest a desert environment, due to the humidifier for moisture, ventilation unit, and space heater all having their own permanent space in the house, meaning a dry environment with temperature swings. Thick concrete walls could also provide residual heat well into the night. Additionally, the wind at this location primarily blows from the left since the windows are primarily on the right to prevent sand or dust from blowing in. The underground cellar protects food from the heat and dust of the environment.
The satellite image is an example of modern innovation making an otherwise unlivable location livable, and making an artistic statement at the same time. There’s money available to both drive habitation of an otherwise unusable area and to allow for more than just a utilitarian purpose. Additionally, there’s a lot of green space, further reinforcing the idea that this is a statement more than it is a function of necessity. In fact, there’s so much green space that there’s relatively little space being used for obvious purposes, with the exception of the wheat fields. This is an artistic statement by a government with money to spare for such great projects.
Minas Tirith is laid out in a circular pattern, particularly an inverse concentric zone model where the upper class and important figures live at the top/center while the lower class live on the outside ring. This is common for medieval style landscapes since over time the palace/city will build additional rings of walls outward to protect more and more people outside of the city walls, typically the farmers and lower class who can’t afford to live inside the city. This map doesn’t suggest any people living outside of the city, but this could be due to the warring environment and close proximity to Mordor, making it far too dangerous to not live within the city walls. Considering how crowded the city is, it’s entirely possible that everyone outside the walls either moved inward in order to be protected or left the area.
The Japanese document is that of an extremely crowded urban environment, probably the inner-city slums. Land prices are so high people have to crowd in, take what they can get, and then fill it to the brim. It’s a dirty and noisy environment with so many people in such a small area. There is some public recreation space and green space on top of the building, trying to make the most of what’s available and suggesting there’s no public space nearby, furthering the idea of an overcrowded slum.
Good analysis, although a slightly more detailed discussion of the world-building implications of these urban structures would have been useful.
Looking at the top left structure you can tell the city has a hierarchical system that then determines where you live. They Higher-Class lives in the center of the city where it is most protected, with the next circle holding those who serve and those who protect those in the center. This circle includes the government, the religious temple, but also a place where those in the Higher-Class can relax (the gardens). The most outer circle includes those in the lower class, the workers comprise of factory workers those who work on the mechanics and also those who are in charge of money. This area also holds the largest area of the city as with any hierarchical system.
The top middle picture is also a hierarchical system though much more complex. Looking at the layout you can tell that the community is very close knit, the community centers around the upper class living behind the city walls, with strict law. It probably has a heavy military system, meaning it is probably xenophobic. The community has a market district outside the city walls, and seemingly good farmland surrounding the outer walls meaning they have a steady flow of food and raw material.
The top right is the simple layout of a home. It is a studio-like apartment, this would be appropriate for a single man or woman, or a couple with no children. This environment would have no room for children, but possibly a cat. The concrete is thick meaning this could be a tall structure or to protect against dangerous outside conditions, six total windows are small and would not let in very much light.
The left middle is a community on a complex arrangement of islands. The symbol etched out could be a religious or spiritual. The area would be fertile for various things, but also on several of the islands there looks to be industrial sectors. This community is probably not close, having to travel over water to reach one another would not breed strong bonds.
The right middle structure is home to millions of citizens, living on seven levels. Strong city walls on each level work to protect against enemies that would attack on land and also work to bring down the city walls. The high rise of the city makes it less penetrable than any castle, as the strong walls and the large towers to reinforce the walls. The lower levels would be home to those who protect. The next level would be a mixture of protection, market and living spaces for the lower class. The diversity of the map shows the community would be made up of various groups of people. The outlying ground shows a series of water going into the and out of the city providing a water source for those who do not dwell outside the city.
The bottom picture depicts a complex community that live in high rises, the structures show small homes cramped and most likely not functionally livable. Shops and restaurants reside on the bottom of the structures while on the top of the structure family areas where they can meet in the fresh air and grow a small garden. This structure resembles tenement housing of the late nineteenth century, too many apartments in a structure.
Good speculation, the last structure is the old Walled City of Kowloon (Hong Kong) that was actually very functionally liveable, and is a good model for dystopian worlds.
Not much need for imagination on this one so let’s get to it.
Coruscant — The Imperial City
Coruscant is a walled city with distinctive districts that surround a central point, in this case the Imperial Palace. Three main circles form the city. Each circle is divided into the before mentioned districts. Eight main gates welcome the visitors into large boulevards that lead to the central hub. This central hub —the palace— becomes the “tetrapylon” for the city in the sense that everything else is laid out from the palace outwards.
What seems obvious from the get go is that Coruscant is not concerned about hostile intrusion. The way the districts are laid out and the functionality of each shows that there was no need for exuberant amounts of security.
Each of the districts has a designated functional denomination and is laid out: smaller districts housing religious (?), entertainment, military headquarters, and top residential areas —in the immediate vicinity of the imperial palace— and larger districts dedicated to the services and manufacturing of products, as well as the larger residential area, in the outer sections beyond the small districts.
The city is laid out around a political/governmental center. It could be a democratic republic or a authoritarian regime.
Cyrodill — The Imperial City
Much like Coruscant, Cyrodill is another good example of a walled city. In this case the existence of a double wall makes it obvious that the residents of the city are in need of protection from hostile exterior forces. Also the presence of an interior moat in the proximity of the center hub confirms that not only architectural balance was taken into consideration when designing the city but it also was designed to serve as a protective deterrent in case of an invasion.
Cydorill seems to be laid out in districts like Coruscant, and like Coruscant each district has a assigned function.
The layout of this home is very simple. It accommodates one person — kind of obvious by the dinning room table with one chair only. It looks like one of those IKEA 200 to 500 square feet pre-fabricated models one see displayed in their stores.
Not sure what else could be said about it. It’s compact, functional and it seems to serve its purpose.
Didn’t take me long to figure this one out. Not too many cities are embedded in a mystical/magical and scientific realm like this one. The fact that the whole city in floating in mid space —while oceans, lakes, and rivers as well as land don’t seem to follow any of the rules of physics— gave it away.
What holds this “impossible” conjecture together? What force keeps this fantastic creation from dissolving into the coldness of space? Magic.
The other two cities at least could be constructed in reality in some form…this one is just too far out there.
The whole thing is pretty to look at. A nice Theocratic and Monarchical hub is located in the center of it. everything else spreads outwards from it as the first two cities discussed.
The lack of walls around the city suggest no concern at all of hostile invasion thus confirming that this civilization is at the top of the power, political, and scientific pyramid.
This city is a fortress build to protect all within its many, and I mean many, reinforced stepped walls.
The sole purpose of this place is protection. Built into the topography of the land the city is a series of elevated steps that culminate with the house of the ruler —monarch or stewart— on top.
All residents live within its wall. This city plan is somewhat feasible. Many towns, villages and cities in Europe are built into steep hills and/or protected coves. this provided protection against invaders.
Downfall of this city: lack of land into which expand after the city has reached its maximum capacity. People either have to move somewhere else or reside outcry the city walls.
Benefit of this city: just think about the amazing calves anyone would have having to navigate all the stairs around the city to get from point A to B.
Vertical structures housing many family units could be considered the norm in many places in North America, Asia, Europe, South America, and former communist nations.
Each structure becomes its own contained city environment. Services may be provided in the first few floors, after that the rest could be residential.
This type of vertical expansion can accommodate the most number of individuals in a restricted environment. Most major cities like New York and Tokyo — limited by the lack of land to expand outwards— have to expand upwards.
This type of city structure, at least as represented in the illustration, accommodates low income individuals. People that have been forced into limited spaces due to a lack of resources.
Environmentally and health wise dangerous for all those residing there. Sanitation is a concern as well as safety.
Good analysis – there is a fair bit of room for more speculation on the single apartment, there’s quite a bit of evidence as to the type of external environment.
The Imperial City of Coruscant- being the political center of the galaxy, the concentric layout formed around the Imperial Palace serves the influx of diplomats and other-worldly travelers well. There are entire districts that function for the galactic senate, a nearby landing field to accommodate the massive amount of spacecraft that fly in and out of the area, and entertainment and commerce for the weary diplomat looking for some relaxation. The lower residential district most likely houses many of the workers needed to operate these massive urban sectors. The dark reign of the Empire is evident even in the map. The former Jedi Temple, once occupied by the greatest knights of peace and balance in the galaxy, is now housing the evil league of Imperial Inquisitors. And within the urban factory district we find the Alien Protection Zone (the “invisible sector” or “invisec”), which was originally established to “protect” non-human species from prejudice but has warped into a militarized ghetto where Stormtroopers rule and enforce the Empire’s humanocentric policies.
The Imperial City, Capital of Cyrodil and the Empire- my first impression of this capital city is how militarized and walled in it is. This culture and society seems to feel the need to be protected by a large military presence and massive amounts of protection from outside forces. This is a hostile fantasy environment, after all, so the need to feel protected from dragons and other powerful beasts is evident. The armory, located just outside the city walls, is also very well fortified and as large as standalone district. The palace itself, located in the middle of the concentric layout, is well protected by more walls and a moat. I get the feeling that the ruling powers may not be very well liked or appreciated. East of the palace is a bloody arena, furthering the idea that this is a militaristic and violent culture. Within the temple district are many places of worship, presumably each for a different deity within a polytheistic religion. The rest of the districts are all laid out with little room for expansion. I assume the residents within the wall are all middle class merchants and officials as they can afford valuable walled-in real estate. I assume the lower class live outside the walls and travel to the markets via the central roads and gates.
Residence Home- This studio-styled home appears to be designed for one resident. It’s a little more than bare-bones so I assume the resident would be in the middle-class to afford it, depending on where the home is located. My first impression of the home was that it would make a comfortable captain’s quarters on a starship or something in a similar situation but upon examination, I doubt a starship would have need for a front and side door, a cellar, or concrete walls. I know think this could be a very good home for a survivor trying to live alone during a zombie apocalypse. The heavy concrete walls and small windows offer a lot of protection and the space is small and tight enough to last long on very low energy. The home also has plenty of room for storage and the cellar can store food resources for a long time or offer another hideout if the zombies knock the doors down.
Asgard- the mythical capital of the Norse gods is beautiful and intricate. I first noticed the rivers and bodies of water that intercut the landscape. Obviously these were designed and constructed, possibly over millennia as the immortal gods of Asgard may be in no rush to finish them. The rivers and streams are a striking blend of ancient Norse geometric cross-cutting bands and other-worldly impressions of stylized landscapes. The inhabitants of this city are obviously very wealthy and powerful with Odin, The Allfather and his royal family living in the center circle. The center of the city is also built to lead the Asgardians along the massive bridge that takes them to the gates of the Bifrost for intergalactic travel. This beautiful Asgardian capital functions not only as the home of the Asgardians but also as a base for the their intergalactic efforts to protect other realms from evil.
Minas Tirith- This heavily fortified city functions as the capital of Gondor in the second half of the Third Age. This ancient city has seen many kings and kingdoms and was originally built to guard from attacks from the west. What the map doesn’t show very well is the ascending levels of the city that lead up to the palace grounds at the very top. What separates Minas Tirith from the other concentric city layouts on this post is the expansion amongst the levels. The lowest level, obviously where the lowest-class citizens live, is cramped with many living spaces. While other cities didn’t have this kind of infrastructure, the citizens of Minas Tirith have no choice but to live within the walls so they will constantly build more housing in the small area they have. As the levels go up, so do the socioeconomic classes. The living spaces become larger and streets less cramped for those that can afford it. The whole city is built around a mountain so the fortification really just needs to be strongest on one end to protect the citizens from the dark threat of Mordor.
Urban Vertical Housing- This real-world housing structure makes me feel claustrophobic if I stare at it for too long. These structures are meant to house a massive amount of people in the smallest are possible by growing vertically rather than outward. These buildings are located mostly in slum areas and are inhabitant by lower-income workers. The infrastructure is disconcerting and I assume energy and resources within the blocks are not readily available. I feel the health and quality of life of residents in these environments is sacrificed for the sake of space. Living in such close quarters with so many other people could also have dangerous effects on mental health for the residents. There are green areas and leisure spaces located around the premises but for the most part, these buildings seem to just be a temporary sleeping and living space between shifts at work.
Very nice! Good descriptions and speculation.
The first depiction shows a society where there is a large bureaucratic presence and a very organized society. Most likely has a hierarchal system, it is possible this is a core to the surrounding area. It would be safe to call it the capital city of whatever region it resides in, and is organized much like the pentagon, with different districts of administration in segmented areas. There is most likely an absence of nature on this location as there is botanical garden provided in the district, indicating there is a lack of greenery and probably air. It is an alien planet, and has different lifeforms of different planets visiting it due to the fact that it has an “Alien Protection Zone”.
The Imperial city is structured much like Coruscant in the sense that it has a circular capitol with designated segments of authority and living quarters. There is only two entry points into the city which show that defense is a priority in the living spaces of the beings that occupy it. The rest of the borders to the city are built up, It as well seems as if their is a hierarchy to the living standards here.
The document on the right side of the page shows that there is a small living quarter for one being, or a family. From speculation you can tell it is either underground or in the desert, due to the ventilation unit located inside the house, and designated space for a humidifier (which indicates a very arid climate. It looks as if contemporary humans occupy the house as the same kind of accommodations and furnishings exist inside it. Space is not too crunched, therefore it leads me to believe real estate is not a premium. Presumably the humans that occupy the place are at a comfortable life for the most part as the living quarters are very comforting.
The depiction in the middle left shows a world that is very confusing and difficult to understand. It is a birds eye view of the planet from space and shows what looks like a highly advanced society. They have a strange series of canal systems that flow through the planet to probably irrigate the wheat fields (which pose some sort of importance, as it is the only labeled thing on the map). The building structures are very futuristic and industrial looking. I feel that the colony or civilization on this planet only uses the planet for its resources most likely.
Minas Tirith is obviously from LOTR, and is a giant building of immense size and built into the side of a mountain. This obviously naturally protects half of the city, which shows that there is probably enemies to the beings that occupy the place. Their is multiple tiered floors to the structure which indicate there is a large colony of inhabitants to the city.
The large depiction on the bottom shows a chinese slum that is host to many thousands of people in a very small space. Living real estate is obviously at a premium in this region seeing as people are shoved into incredibly small living quarters. The occupants use the outdoor world to naturally do any sort of modern convenient task they would normally be allowed to do in a normal sized house, like laundry for example. The top of the buildings are covered in foliage to give a sense of normality and help the air pollution in the city. You can tell that the living quarters are terribly polluted with trash and other things. It is an incredibly unhealthy living condition, and most likely houses the poor citizens of china.
The Imperial City of Coruscant was built taking into consideration different social classes. This is very obvious when we see the Lower Residential District is located outside the first and the second main rings of the city in which the upper residential district is located. By looking at the design and structure of the city, it is highly probable that urban planning took place while building it. The process of urban planning in this city suggest that this civilization was very advanced in terms of education by the time it was built.
When I think of an emperor, I think of him as person that has control and power of decision on all matters related to that place. This might have been the case of this city with its emperor during its beginnings. With the introduction of a Senate Hall and a Senate Office, this city seems to have gone through, what I would call, a process of democratization. It is important to emphasize, the fact that with the introduction of a Senate the Emperor has no absolute power and he has consult and make the senate more participative.
The location of the imperial military district (right in front the imperial palace) suggests that the emperor must have been involved in some sort of conflict in which it was considered that protection had to be close to him at his disposal.
The design and structure of the Imperial City is very similar that that of Coruscant, except for the existence of a senate. This city seems less advanced city in terms of democracy, since there is no a senate. The lack of a senate bestows more power to the emperor, which can explain the existence of a double protection fence surrounding and protecting the city. Yes, I have to explain! Whenever there is a more democratic culture the emperor or the city highest ranked official has to consult every single decision taken with the senate. Let us speculate and say that the emperor of this city has decided to be involved in too many battles and have gained several enemies. This had not happened if the emperor would have had a senate to consult with. Maybe they would’ve stopped him from earning too many adversaries and therefore not putting the entire city at the risk of a war.
The apartment plan suggests that it is able to accommodate no more than two persons. Culturally speaking, this shows a couple living together that cannot afford to buy a bigger house in order to be able to have children. Taking into consideration it has concrete walls, it would be accurate to say that this apartment is located near a coastal area where there is access to sand and stone, therefore making it more affordable to construct.
The design of the city below Coruscant looks very sophisticated. I cannot imagine people walking and cars going through roads in this city. I would dare to say that people would inhabit the areas outside this very complicated circle, which have more suitable and less complicated characteristics to live in. Maybe, the design of this sophisticated city with water and green spaces represents for them something else than being well organized and effectively move around.
It is very interesting to se how every single circle is surrounded and protected by a fence in the city of Minas Terith. This protective fence might suggest that there might have been hierarchical division of classes in this society. It seems that that society is based on a caste system. People living in a ranked-higher stratum cannot mix with people in the lower strata. This is what is currently happening in some rural areas in India.
The last and biggest city seems to be very disorganized. The lack of urban planning suggests very low levels of education and organization for this society. Human development for the inhabitants of this city does not seem to be taking place. There are too many people living in just one small house. There are not house limits between one house and the next one. Houses at the bottom of the picture seem to be more crowed, which might suggest the no use of birth control in the population.
It is very obvious that people living north of city seem to be having a less hard time, given that there are less people living in just one house.
Very nice analysis.
Intercepted voice stream 2861.01.28/two_party/
Partial conversation between two suspect smugglers that may have recently been employed by the science division.
Sub1: Coruscant the Imperial City, what a crock of shit. Can you believe that this design is even in consideration for the capital city layout?
Sub 2: Why not?
Sub 1: Did you see how the factory district is on the far side of the city from the spaceport? It looks like they might have a small pad there but it won’t be big enough for heavy freighters.
Sub 2: So?
Sub1: Those dumbasses even put the APZ in between the factory zone and the market district. It is all backwards and whoever designed it should be shot. Even worse, they should have to be the Command Mayor of this crapper.
Sub 2: Man, you’re full of shit!
Sub 1: I am sure you wanted my opinion one very one or you would not have asked, right?
Sub 1: Have you ever been to a spaceport city that didn’t put the cops, soldiers, whatever they call them, right smack dab in the middle of the Alien Protection Zone, the entertainment district, and the landing field. They are always ready to run in and will not like these being of the far side of the palace from the barracks, oh yeah, and the armory.
Sub 2: Yeah I guess so.
Sub 1: The second one I am kind of partial to. It works except they need to flop the arena for the market. I realize they do not think that they will ever have to defend the capital city but come on man; you have to see my point.
Sub 2: I do. Shit does hit the fan quite regularly.
Sub 1: Some day when they are slugging it out block to block they will wish they had the thoughts I …am… //Muffled Voice/0:37
Sub 1: I am not sure what this third picture is supposed to be. Could you imagine if your place was as big as that? I think it is twice the size of mine! A kitchen and a separate living area this has to be bullshit. Hell, my toilet folds out of the wall although I am actually lucky enough to have a shower closet. Maybe this is from a long time ago. It is underground but only on three sides.
Sub 2: Maybe it is on a colony. This could be a desert colony quarter but it is hard to believe that it isn’t built in a row or cluster.
Sub 1: My thoughts exactly.
Sub 1: Ok, what about number four. It’s a carp.
Sub 2: What?
Sub 1: A carp. A big fish that eats the crap off the bottom of the river.
Sub 2: I know what a carp is. I don’t see it though.
Sub 1: Look at this. //Data Transmission/Image.
Sub 2: Ha ha ha, ok, I see it. I thought it looked sort of peaceful until you brought up the fish.
Sub 1: Carp.
Sub 2: It doesn’t matter it’s still funny.
Sub 1: Are you sure this fifth image came in the packet?
//Package of Betelgeuse Origin/Agent Claring/ISAD
Sub 2:Yes, they all arrived together.
Sub 1: If I didn’t know what it was supposed to be, I would think this was the logic map for an AI.
Sub 2: But it is a city plan.
Sub 1: Are you sure?
Sub 2: No. I told you we should skip this job. What are we looking for anyway? Some of these look like real cities, some don’t, what gives?
Sub 1: Taipei.
Sub 2: What?
Sub 1: Taipei. It is the warrens of Taipei. One of the last free cities on Earth.
Sub 2: Is it true you can own things there?
Sub 1: Yes—even your own clothes.
Sub 2: But you’re sure though, that it is Taipei?
Sub 1: Yes, I think we need to go there or we are never going to be finished with this job.
Sub 2: Don’t you think the Feds will find out?
Sub 1: Hell, they are listening now. My meter has been jumping since we connected.
Sub 1: Micah, are you there?
Sub 1: Micah!
Excellent, and entertaining, as always.
The primary map of which I am most concerned with discussing among this array of images is the map of the areas of Coruscant directly adjacent to the Imperial Palace. To begin with, one facet of Coruscant and of this map (despite the fact that it is lacking in coverage) that I feel is of paramount importance in any proper analysis of the urban geography of this area in particular and Coruscant in general is that of vertical nature of the area itself, as Coruscant consists of, for all anyone is ever really concerned in the mainstream Star Wars Universe, endless levels upon levels of urban development.
Firstly, I feel that the Coruscant map is very oddly labeled. It is clearly produced in the area immediately following the rise of the Galactic Empire, a point in time in the greater Star Wars timeline that comes relatively late in the canonical lifespan of Coruscant, the planet serving as the de facto center of the galaxy in Star Wars. This is obvious due to the presence of, among other things, the Imperial Palace wherein the infamous Emperor Palpatine dwelled. At the same time however, it is asserted by most that the Imperial City is only a loose colloquial term for the region in question (instead referring officially to the planetary name of Coruscant under the rule of the Galactic Empire), and is in fact, even when used informally, only purported to refer to the Senate, Temple, and Ambassadorial districts-only one of which is directly labeled on the map. I am presuming that the legislative district is a combination of the Senate and Ambassadorial districts-perhaps this combination occurred as a result of the marginalization of these bodies/services upon the advent of the Sith-ruled Galactic Empire. This in and of itself calls the official nature and legitimacy of the map into some measure of doubt, for me personally.
However, I believe that far and away the most confusing aspect of all the different regions of this map being included together lies in examining the nature of the Galactic Empire and the Emperor himself. This unnamed Imperial cartographer, as would be prudent under a regime famed for its anti-alien prejudices, would no doubt refrain from including the seat of Imperial power and by extension the Emperor himself (who undoubtedly perpetrated this humans-first agenda) in with the vastly less reputable areas of Coruscant such as The Works and Invisec (short for the Invisible Sector, named as such due to the large numbers of aliens of countless species corralled within). These two areas in particular are definitively less desirable areas in which to live and do business. The Works resembles in many facets the dying industrial centers of many American steel cities in the latter half of the 20th century-a once prosperous manufacturing center for many companies who would later abandon the local workforce to relocate their industrial interests off-planet. Presently, in absence of discussing the effects had by the Yuuzhan Vong, the Works remains a broken down slum of largely defunct factories, inhabited primarily by criminals and the cannibalistic Cthons. Invisec, on the other hand, was a squalid ethnic neighborhood, now largely defunct past the decline of the Galactic Empire into the Imperial Remnant, and one that bore many similarities to the ghettos of Nazi notoriety in that residents were forced to live in poor conditions and were often harassed violently by squads of stormtroopers, etc.
As you can see for yourself, I am myself confused as to why the aforementioned nameless Imperial Cartographer would risk backlash in taking the time to include such a dramatically large portion of Coruscant surrounding the Imperial Palace when he could very much have not done so and therefore completely avoided even the thought of the inclusion of the frowned upon areas of The Works and Invisec.
In the end, however, Coruscant, even this portion, which is very much uniquely crucial to many major plotlines throughout the universe, is very much better understood through a vertical analysis rather than a top down view as presented in the graphic. Affluence and relative prosperity is communicated through the placement of one’s home on the vertical alignment, with dwellings near the top communicating their owner’s fabulous wealth and power (see 500 Republica), while other homes near the bottom levels were often those of lower class workers, etc. that formed many of the estimated 3 trillion potential inhabitants come the end of the Clone Wars. In this it has some striking parallels to property values in pollution-riddled cities in the United States like Los Angeles, where the rich and famous live at the top (Beverly Hills) while the lower class individuals live in the dramatically less pleasant areas like Watts or Hyde Park. (I believe almost every group last semester in the project presentations in Urban Geography, where we studied property characteristics along transects through the greater Los Angeles area, displayed significant positive correlations between altitude and quality of living in regard to residences).
To directly address the prompt, economically, one could expect this area to, while not providing perhaps the raw industrial output of other areas/planets, (although later during the reign of the Galactic Empire Sienar Systems would return The Works to manufacturing as a giant factory for TIE fighters) definitely serve as a nerve center for economic coordination at a galactic scale, given the Imperial Palace-centric nature of the Galactic Empire and the status of Coruscant as a major trade hub and economic center, especially given its location at the intersection of a plethora of major hyperspace lanes.
Culturally, given the vertically delineated nature of Coruscanti residences and society, one could practically expect this relatively small area to nevertheless display a remarkable diversity in cultures both alien and human, across a wide range of social and economic backgrounds. Environmentally, however, the decaying factories of The Works would certainly have contributed more than their fair share of pollution to what was already an atmospheric system under dramatic strain, given the presence of potentially trillions of individuals straining to survive on the resources packed onto a single planet. This would no doubt necessitate extra effort on behalf of the atmospheric dampeners and filtering systems used to preserve the atmosphere and its relative breathability in this region.
In the end, I would be really interested to learn more about the background of this map and in particular see a 3 dimensional representation of the area in question.
Wow, that’s a thorough analysis of Coruscant, well done.
Coruscant is a city divided into extremely clear sectors. The layout of the city doesn’t strike me as something which would develop naturally, so it must have been carefully planned before it was even built. The residential districts are divided into ‘upper’ and ‘lower’ which, besides the obvious geographical meaning, suggests that housing is segregated by socioeconomic class. The presence of an “Alien Protection Zone” seems strangely sinister in the capital city of an empire which includes citizens of many different species, alluding to further segregation by species.
What I believe to be Asgard is extremely aesthetically pleasing, designed by a culture which values beauty and incorporates it into its urban planning. The design of the canals (?) form a trefoil motif, which probably has some significance in the quasi-magical system of Asgardian science and mathematics. Is there, perhaps, some sort of Asgardian concept of feng shui? The city is filled with greenspace and seems to have a low population density, which explains how the smallish wheat fields can feed the entire city.
The “Imperial City” which I am not familiar with seems to be a city with a history; it looks to have been originally built as a fortified settlement with multiple walls and moats, but has perhaps experienced more peace in recent times (by stabilizing its empire and reducing the threat of outside attack?) and converted the original fort into a cultured space of public gardens, areas for performance art and entertainment, and residential districts with connected houses arranged around a central courtyard. The military garrison is physically removed from the city, indicating that the general population does not wish to be reminded of their rather martial history.
The layout of the home in the top-right corner seems to be for a single person or a couple, unless the “up” arrow leads to a second floor with more bedrooms. I find this rather doubtful, and think that instead the main floor plan is split-level, with part of it partly dug into the ground. The home seems to be in a desert environment, given the presence of a humidifier, concrete walls to help regulate temperature, and a space heater which would be helpful when the temperature drops at night. The only thing I don’t get is the fact that presumably water is scarce but they have a bathtub, which strikes me as very nonsensical. The layout is quite open, with a “living area” instead of separate bedrooms and living rooms. This suggests a cultural view of privacy and family life that is quite different from ours.
Oh boy, Minas Tirith! This is a city which is trying desperately to maintain the glory of the nation it is seeking to emulate, while trying to survive in what was at the time of its founding an unexplored and hostile continent fraught with danger. The concentric circles of the city serve both the tactical function of providing several lines of defense in the case of a siege by the forces of Mordor, and the cultural function of centering around White Tree of Gondor, the seedling of Nimloth, which serves as a reminder of Gondor’s origins in Númenor and of the memory of the Valar.
The Japanese (I think it’s Japanese, but I don’t know much about Asian writing systems so I’m not 100% sure) housing is extremely crowded and cluttered and gives me a small amount of anxiety just looking at it. From what I can tell it appears that the system of buildings is not merely a housing unit, but an entire self-contained mini-city. I see what appears to be people buying groceries on the first floor, as well as what might be some cafes about four floors up and what appears to be an audience watching some sort of performer on a stage. This is an environment where people are used to living in close quarters, and where there is little spacial separation between home life and the outside world of entertainment, shopping, etc. The fact that there is laundry hanging everywhere concerns me because it makes me think of potential sanitation problems from such close quarters, and also makes me wonder if there is a problem with people stealing clothes from lines, and how this might affect the everyday mode of dress of the residents.
Very nice analysis.
Coruscant Imperial City is very organized city being made up with different layers and districts within the circular wall. The imperial Palace is the center of it all, indicating that it is heavily centered around some form of government. This city appears to be a hierarchal society because within each layer, there appears to be a social order. In the second layer, there is the entertainment district, temple district, military and upper residential area. These are the sectors that are more important because they are close to the imperial palace, while the others are in the outskirts of the city. These include the factory district, lower residential are, a landing field and collective commerce district. There are many gates that lead into different layers and it appears to have fluid traffic throughout each section. Having both an fortified wall, alien protection zone and a military district, I would say Coruscant is a very protected city.
Cyrodil is very much like Coruscant in that it is also a circular city but appears to be more protected. Cyrodil is guarded by two walls and there are only three entrances to enter the imperial city. There is a strong military presence and even the palace is heavily secured from the public. This could be to preserve the government from the people incase of revolutions or attempt to overthrow power. The city is divided up into organized sections and appears to be a hierarchy as well.
The residential home is simple and each space is used efficiently. The thick walls, one door and few windows indicate that it is securely protected from the outside world and the small bed and dining table lead me to believe that it is designed for one resident. There is plenty of storage space and the space heater, humidifier and ventilation unit resembles a post apocalyptic home or a place that is to be efficiently run on its own.
Asgard is a beautiful city that is not located on a planet but rather in space with lakes on the outskirts of the city as natural boundaries. It is a beautiful place with rivers and lakes splicing the city into sections and appears to have a lot of vegetation. It does not have rigid districts which leads me to be more lax on social structure. Unlike the other two cities, it is not heavily protected by military or walls which could mean either Asgard is a very docile community with few enemies or high in power and top of the food chain (few would dare to attack this city). The governing forces are found in the center of the city as well.
Mines Tirich is a city built on a mountain with the different sections ascending higher and higher until the palace is reached at the top. On the outskirts and at the bottom of the mountain is the cities lower class, crowded and clustered. The city and each district is heavily protected by walls and indicate maximum expansion.
The vertical living spaces are busy and congested, cramped with as many people as possibly in one space. It appears to me that the lower working class would inhabit these areas. There is no personal space and the top priority for these living spaces is optimal amount of people living in one space. Health, safety nor security are not high on the list but rather efficiency of space.
Good work, a little more speculation (especially on the desert house) would have been useful .
All the cities have one thing in common: units. Modular structures are great things. They allow for equitable distribution of space between residents. In the bottom city (I believe an actual, artist-rendered cross-section of a Chinese ‘makeshift’ city), space is at a premium. It illustrates just how important urban density and upward growth can be. When your horizontal growth is forcibly limited, you can only go up. It also demonstrates just how life operates when resources are at a minimum. Scant electricity and water mean wastage must be minimized, necessitating outdoor laundry drying, yet despite space and resources being a premium, there are what appear to be a few public spaces.
In the other four cities, curving landscapes are used to advantage. American suburbs are known for their curving streets which convey a greater sense of distance and separation from the ‘mass’ of everyone living in your community—-psychological American privacy. In the fictional cities, circular layouts make sense. The best use of space can be circular, especially if its dense and the city grows up more than out. For public transport, routes can be very utilitarian. No meandering through hundreds of intersections is necessary if routes go in concentrically smaller circles around the city. Leaving one route and crossing a block to the next circular route would be extremely convenient. In the case of Minas Tirith the circular and semi-spiraling pathway from the bottom and largest portion of the city up to the top is practical but also a not so subtle implication of who has the power and where they are. From a governing perspective this is sensible, and not just for reminding people of where the literal center of power is. For policing and emergency response forces, sending out aid from the center means that, in theory at least, any destination can be reached quickly.
For the city in the middle left, water dividing the various sections of the city may provide additional means of transport—-economical for a city surrounded by water—-but it may also be a method of control. If transportation is halted, citizens can be kept in their separate areas. The Imperial City in the top middle likewise possesses the ability to exert control over movement. Limited pathways mean added security in assuring the protection of those special few in separating them from the commoners. Circularly designed cities have the advantage of sectioning space, particularly when societal structure or economic influences come into play. Coruscant in the top left separates manual labor (factory district) from finance and the commerce (market) district while having its military and symbol of government power (the palace) at the center.
Housing structures may vary even greater due to environmental determinism. The desert housing structure in the top right indicates that the place is likely not a nice place to live, which means there are reasons for living in such an extreme place, most likely resources. Built for the hot environment, cooking is done above. That’s very sensible because any heat generated will rise up and out of the structure without going through the living and sleeping quarters.
Good analysis, and nice discussion of the use of space for segregation of activities and classes.